Money and Finances: Why Couples Need to Discuss These Key Topics in a Relationship

You have heard it a zillion times how finances are one of the most common reasons people fight and relationships fall apart. It is not necessarily about the amount of money in general so much as it is the stability of its presence. Is there a comfort zone present that allows us to be at ease knowing next month’s mortgage is taken care of? Is there money for the kids’ tuition this semester?

FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY

The questions asked above are the ordinary, everyday questions and concerns people face, both individually and as a couple. When you face these issues alone, you know you are all you’ve got – so if the money isn’t there, then what did you do with the money you had? Can you justify the level in your bank account without guilt?

Regardless of the answers to the questions, the only person you answer to is yourself. However, when you are in a relationship with someone with whom you share expenses, then you are responsible to them as well.

DISCUSS FINANCES AND MONEY ISSUES BEFORE PROBLEMS ARISE

Many couples do not address financial issues or concerns until they are waist deep into them. That is not the time to do it! Prepare yourselves for a positive financial future together by discussing your financial goals, both independently and as a couple, prior to issues arising. Pay attention to your mate’s shopping and spending habits and realize their tendencies will affect you – and your pocketbook – eventually.

Don’t wear blinders to habits that grind your gears…these are the preliminary warnings that disputes and disagreements are heading your way if not addressed up front prior to any problems.

You may not want to bring something up in fear that it will actually cause a problem, such as the old adage, “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it…” – but preventative conversation holds more potential of eliminating potential issues than waiting until there is one to bring it up. Once a problem exists, tempers are in form, attitudes are ripe and tolerance is extremely low for anyone to be pointing out someone else’s faults or placing blame.

MAKE FINANCIAL GOALS AND PLANS TOGETHER

It is interesting that so many couples do not discuss such foundational issues as money and how it should be used, prior to locking accounts together. Take time to have a few discussions in advance; make some basic goals and plans that will involve both of you sharing funds and thoughts about how to achieve the goals.

Involve each other in addressing the financial needs of the household, even if only one person is responsible for paying the bills. When both people openly participate, then both people are cognizant of their roles in the relationship and the financial responsibility to the household.

Step up the communication a notch, make it fun to learn how to save and spend together in agreement and have a healthier, happier relationship! After all, that is the basis for your sanity in an economically challenging environment…your peace of mind, peace in your relationships and peace within your home.